Friday, November 13, 2009

Proud to be doing something right

On the way to church on Sunday my 5th grade daughter brought up the subject of dating. This wasn't the first time, mind you. Something is wrong with our society that 5th graders, even fourth graders are "asking each other out." I don't know what this means exactly. Do the boys come up and say "hey baby, do you want my mom to take us to a movie?" It is kind of disturbing to me. Nonetheless, boys and girls looking for affection or popularity or whatever it might be are looking to "dating relationships."

We have had conversations MANY times about how we want our daughter to wait MUCH later in life before she begins to date. Mike says he hopes she doesn't develop until she is twenty one...or the wedding day or something. I have held to not wanting her to date in high school unless it is in a group format. We have talked about why we feel this way- the pressures, the fact that there are so many more important things for her to focus on when she is young, the fact that kids/teens just aren't ready to date, etc, etc, etc. We aren't the parents that say "you aren't going to date, end of story."

Anyways, back to she tells us that a boy asked her out at school. Nervously I asked what she said. She replied, "I told him no." After I internally took a deep breathe and sighed, she continued, "he asked if it was because my parents won't allow it. I said, yes, kinda, but no. My parents and I have talked about it and I have really thought about it and decided for myself that I don't want that for myself." (Teary pregnant woman...)

It's in those moments, you know you are doing something right...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Catch the Passion

I have often thought about starting my own blog- space to process my thoughts on life as I experience it. The funny thing is that I was not held back by lack of wanting to write one, or by lack of commitment to the time and writing, but rather the lack of a title. Seriously, that is the only reason I have not done this sooner.

So, today as I was reading some of my friends' blogs and jealous that mine still did not exist, I made it my goal. I thought about what I would most often write about which made me think about is really important in my life. Truly there are two things above all else- faith and family. My faith is part of everything I do and therefore it would be implicit in any topic. My family follows a close second.

One of the things I am most passionate about is parenting. I LOVE being a mother, watching my child grow into an amazing future adult and navigating all of the obstacles along the way. LOVE IT! I believe that parenting is the most amazing, wonderful, challenging responsibility a person could ever have and would love to spread my passion to other parents along the way.

Personally, I have been a mother now for ten and a half years (or eleven depending on when you count from.) I was a freshman at CU-Boulder when my life changed forever and I became a mother. My daughter was born into the world to a young woman, two weeks shy of her 18th birthday. I was a single mother for 9 years before I married the man who is now her father and I am now learning to parent as part of a team. Our family will be growing yet again this March as baby girl #2 joins us. I am excited to continue this wonderful journey wherever it leads.

Professionally, as a counselor, I have worked with parents of many stages. I have worked in a pregnancy center with women just finding out they are pregnant and working on making one of life's most difficult choices- what to do with an unplanned pregnancy. I have worked as a social worker in foster care, with parents whose children had to be removed for safety reasons, hoping to reunite the families whenever possible. I have worked with parents battling serious mental illness. Most recently I have been working with low-income families and parents who love their children dearly but are struggling to pay the bills. The common thread, I believe a part of my calling, has been working with parents of all sorts of situations and backgrounds. I don't know where this leads but am willing to figure it out along the way.

So as the weeks, months, and years progress, I hope that my musings inspire at least one parent to find the spark to parent passionately. Catch the passion, it's contagious, and feel free to spread it too.